Rhetorical Analysis Of Oprah's Speech

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Oprah Winfrey uses her Cecil B de Mille acceptance speech to cast light on societal issues of corruption, discrimination, objectification, and racism. Oprah’s speech reflects an age and dialogue of constant controversy and arguable division surrounding allegations of sexual assault, mistreatment, and the seemingly unthinkable idea of an underlying patriarchy within the film industry. Oprah explores and conveys these ideas through the use of various persuasive linguistic and oratorical techniques. This is seen through her use of ethos and pathos when creating an emphatic delivery and appealing to the emotions of the audience when utilising anecdotes. This is also further seen through her repetition of female pronouns when persuading the audience…show more content…
This is evident through the perspective of which Oprah conveys to the audience, stating rather that such issues “transcend any culture, geography, race, religion. Politics or workplace.” Thus, such ideas that Oprah explores are not limited to the confides of the film industry, and as such her speech stands as a reflection to all issues and controversies regarding global and societal mistreatment and discrimination. Oprah further emphasizes the struggles to which most women must endure so as to speak out against such controversies, with her main, yet subtle, critique directed towards the scrutiny of the mud-slinging Fake News campaign. Oprah simply states that “we all know the press is under siege these days.” A simple exaggeration, and yet her statement in it of itself reflects societal backlash and controversy associated with the release of harrowing accounts of countless women coming forward. Furthermore, Oprah subtly explores the idea of a patriarchy, a pecking order otherwise consisting of male dominance and superiority. This is evident through her constant repetition of female pronouns when discussing recent controversies and movements throughout her speech as opposed to her use of male pronouns in parts of tension and discomfort in…show more content…
Right from the get-go, it is clear Oprah hooks her audience through her profound reliability through her use of ethos. Oprah’s humble beginnings coupled with her undeniable success and platform further solidifies her credibility and sense of sincerity with that of the audience. Thus, through her well-found respect, Oprah is initially able to captivate the audience. In addition to this, Oprah further encapsulates the audience through her touching use of pathos through her use of anecdotes. The moving story of Recy Taylor, a woman raped and beaten, through the retelling of Oprah, only further hooks the audience, creates a sense of sincerity and intimacy, and ultimately strengthens Oprah’s persuasion of the audience. Oprah’s display as an orator should not go unnoticed. Throughout the entirety of her delivery, Oprah projects herself with a clear, calm, and strong yet soft emphasis. Oprah maintains stern eye-contact with the audience, and presents herself in a strong, iron-body demeaner. These oratorical techniques coincide to further captivate the audience and continue to ease the audience into the persuasion of the viewpoint presented in her speech. Given controversies of sexual assault in recent times, as well as ideas of feminism and female
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